Featured vacancies:

Competitive salary
Sales Executive, Hybrid working
, Surrey
Packaging Technologist, FMCG
, Greater Manchester
, £40000
 - £45000
per annum
 + Package
Finance Business Partner, Food Distribution
, London
, £50000
 - £60000
per annum
 + Benefits
Technical Manager
, Lincolnshire
, £50000
 - £55000
per annum
 + Benefits
R&D Food Technician
, West Yorkshire
, £25000
 - £28000
per annum
Continuous Improvement Manager
, Nottinghamshire
, £50000
 - £60000
per annum
Celebrity Cookbooks Causing Food Poisoning

Celebrity Cookbooks Causing Food Poisoning

Researchers are warning that celebrity cookbooks could be causing food poisoning.

The books do not include enough guidance on how to avoid food poisoning and sometimes even use bad guidelines for hygiene.

Cookbooks analysed for advice

Researchers from North Carolina State University put together the study, which involved 29 cookbooks. These provided nearly 1,500 recipes for analysis. They included It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow, and books by Giada De Laurentiis (Food Network presenter), Ina Garten (known as the Barefoot Contessa), and Rachel Ray.

old cookbook

They noted that recipes involving meat often did not have warnings about endpoint temperatures, or how to ensure that the meat was properly cooked. This was not as bad, however, as the books which actually provided incorrect information.

Professor Ben Chapman, who was involved with the study, said: “Cookbooks aren’t widely viewed as a primary source of food safety information. But cookbook sales are strong and they are intended to be instructional.”

He gave the example of recipes cooking chicken, which do not note that the required endpoint temperature is around 74C. Chicken can carry salmonella, which should be eradicated when cooked to the correct internal temperature. Anyone who works in food hygiene will know the huge risks that these can provide, but it is not being made clear to the consumer who reads these cookbooks – something which needs to change as soon as possible.

All of the recipes analysed included some form of produce which could cause danger in its raw form – such as eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood.

They were checking for guidance on cooking the food to a safe temperature, as well as food safety myths. Shockingly, while only 123 recipes actually mentioned cooking at a certain temperature, not all of them were even high enough to reduce the risk of food poisoning. That was an 8% rate of warnings.

“Very few recipes provided relevant food safety information, and 34 of those 123 recipes gave readers information that was not safe,” said Professor Chapman. “Put another way, only 89 out of 1,497 recipes gave readers reliable information that they could use to reduce their risk of foodborne illness.”

Incorrect indicators

While the recipes did include indicators to show when the dishes would be ready, 99.7% of them were subjective – describing the dish as finished cooking, rather than being safe to eat.

Katrina Levine, the study’s co-author, said: “The most common indicator was cooking time, which appeared in 44 per cent of the recipes. And cooking time is particularly unreliable, because so many factors can affect how long it takes to cook something: the size of the dish being cooked, how cold it was before going into the oven, differences in cooking equipment, and so on.”

“Ideally, cookbooks can help us make food tasty and reduce our risk of getting sick, so we’d like to see recipes include good endpoint cooking temperatures,” added Professor Chapman. “A similar study was done 25 years ago and found similar results – so nothing has changed in the past quarter century. But by talking about these new results, we are hoping to encourage that change.”

It seems clear that those in chef jobs have a need to exercise more influence over the cookbook industry. If a dish must be cooked a certain way to be safe, then this must be emphasised in the recipe. After all, the author has no way of knowing who will pick up the book. If that person is a student or first-time cook with no prior knowledge of food safety, then food poisoning could easily be on the table.

About this article

Read time


Latest news

Supply Chain jobs
Supply chain jobs come in all shapes and sizes. We recruit for roles within the Supply Chain function from junior management roles to board level positions. Are you an experienced supply chain specialist looking for an exciting and rewarding career in the food industry? The food industry is a sector with many exciting opportunities for...
sales and marketing jobs light bulbs
The food industry is a fast-paced, constantly evolving sector, which means that working in sales and marketing jobs in this field are incredibly rewarding. The challenging environment allows you to thrive and learn something new every day and the knowledge gained in this sector can be invaluable for your future career. If you’re looking for...
Food inflation below 10% - lady shopping
It’s an exciting time for food industry professionals in the UK The latest news from the British food sector is that there has been an increase in the number of food manufacturing jobs available in the last year. 2023 has been an especially big year for growth and innovation that will shape the future of...
Food finance jobs
Looking at food finance jobs are an excellent choice of career for anyone looking for a job that holds potential to grow and evolve. From major manufacturers to small-scale food producers, there’s a lot of exciting opportunities to explore. The food industry is booming, with sales in the UK reaching record highs in recent years....
Hotel Chocolat founders have agreed a takeover with Mars. Mars will take over the business and have agreed to keep production in the UK. The founders are set to make £280m after an agreed take over of £534m. After the deal was announce shares increased by 160%. Mars currently employs over 140,000 people around the...
Engineering jobs - workers working in a factory
Engineering jobs in the FMCG world are certainly a great option for those that like to fix broken things or think strategically on how they can improve on a process within a manufacturing environment. As an Engineer, within either the FMCG or food industry, you have a unique opportunity to make an impact on the...
Chef jobs are exciting Chef placing food on a plate
Chef jobs in food manufacturing are exciting opportunities! Are you currently looking for Chef Jobs and what opportunities are out there? Joining the food manufacturing industry could be the opportunity you have been waiting for! There is a vast array of Chef jobs you could be interested in. A great industry to move into the...
Food inflation below 10% - lady shopping
Food inflation has finally dropped under the 10% mark for the first time in over a year! This is good news for all Food Businesses and Consumers. This significant dip is a major milestone in the journey towards sustainable economic growth and food security for the UK. Every retailer included in the Kantar report saw...
interviewing for NPD and development jobs
Are you currently interviewing for NPD jobs or Food Development Jobs? Are you on the lookout for a job that challenges, excites and motivates you? There are so many reasons to consider being part of an NPD team. But the main recurring theme with anyone we speak to is that it isn’t just a job;...

Get in touch